McCain: 'Hell to Pay' If Russia Is Linked to Crash

While Putin says Ukraine bears responsibility

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 17, 2014 6:18 PM CDT

(Newser) – With the evidence increasingly suggesting that today's jet crash over Ukraine was caused by a missile and not a mechanical failure, John McCain is burnishing his reputation as the Senate's top foreign policy hawk. While stressing that it's too early to know anything for sure, McCain said on MSNBC that the crash has the "earmarks of a tragic mistake made by someone who had the capability to just shoot down an aircraft, and we know at least from the last couple of weeks that that could be Russian or separatist Russian capability,” reports Politico. If that proves to be the case, "I think there's going to be hell to pay and there should be."

In an appearance on CNN, he made similar points and added that it might be time to "give the Ukrainians the ability to defend themselves," reports Slate. In Moscow, meanwhile, Vladimir Putin pinned the blame squarely on Ukraine, though he was speaking in general terms: "I want to note that this tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine," he said. "And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy." The AP has the full text of his remarks.

In this image taken from video, part of the wreckage is seen.
In this image taken from video, part of the wreckage is seen.   (AP Photo / Channel 1)
In this image taken from video, flames rise from the wreckage.
In this image taken from video, flames rise from the wreckage.   (AP Photo / Channel 1)
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